Terrorists could use AI to carry out hacking raids on the UK and we must be alert to ‘deepfake’ images used to derail democracy, government minister Oliver Dowden warns
- Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden warned AI could be used for hacking
Artificial intelligence poses a growing threat to Britain as it could be used by ‘malign actors’ for hacking operations, deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden warned last night.
Mr Dowden, who has cross-government responsibility for protecting the UK from emerging threats, said: ‘The ability to do destructive things – you can use AI to help you do those.
‘Disaffected people exist already. Tie them in with AI, and that enhances, that proliferates, the kind of things that they can do.’
AI could allow terrorists to access tools to conduct extensive hacking operations or create hazardous materials.
Mr Dowden said: ‘We need to be careful not to overstate these things and do it on an evidential basis, but there is the risk there that has to be addressed.
‘As you’d expect, we are taking this very seriously in enhancing our capabilities.’ He also warned about the rise of ‘deepfakes’ – digitally-manipulated photographs – and the risk they pose to the democratic process.
Mr Dowden, who has cross-government responsibility for protecting the UK from emerging threats, said: ‘The ability to do destructive things – you can use AI to help you do those’
AI could allow terrorists to access tools to conduct extensive hacking operations or create hazardous materials (Stock Image)
He said: ‘In the electoral environment, we’ve had challenges for the past five or six years in terms of misinformation, disinformation. Again, that is going to accentuate and proliferate that risk, because it’s much easier to create deepfakes with AI.’
But there are some positives to AI and Mr Dowden told The Times: ‘We have a very tight labour market and the job of government is to make sure that people can transition.
‘Ultimately, AI should have the capability to do the boring bits of jobs, so that humans can concentrate on the more interesting bits.’
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